Marsha F.’s Story

sf_whereIAm_03 (Custom)What was your life like before you met Christ? * I was raised in a very loving Christian family. My parents taught me from the Bible about God’s love for me, that I should love Him because He first loved me, and that to show my love, I was to obey Him. I was a very obedient child and wanted to please God and my parents.

The early years my life centered around my home, my parents and my younger brother. We were involved in church and I participated in children’s activities of the time, Sunday School, Sunbeams, and church events.

I lived a very sheltered life. I was painfully shy, and would hide behind my parents if someone spoke to me. When I was eight years old my father felt he was called to full time Christian ministry, and we moved to Fort Worth, Texas for him to attend Southwestern Baptist Seminary.

How did you come to Christ? * During that time I attended a children’s program provided by a Billy Graham Crusade. Cliff Barrows presented a very animated lesson about Jesus and the children. He showed us a picture of Jesus knocking on a door that had no doorknob. He told us that we had to open the door from the inside and ask Jesus to come into our heart. He sang that beautiful song, “What Will You Do with Jesus, Jesus is standing at Your Heart’s Door.” I remember very sincerely, with simple child-like faith, asking Jesus to come into my heart. But, remember, I was very shy, so I told no one. I didn’t know I was supposed to. Sometime later when I was 9 or 10, my parents were concerned about my salvation and questioned me about accepting Christ. I told them, “I’ve already done that!” They took me to our pastor at the time, he counseled with me and I was duly baptized.

What is your life like now in Christ? *    In the years that followed, we moved a lot, 2 sisters and 3 more brothers were added to my family. Our lives still centered around our church wherever we were. I had many struggles as I grew to be a teenager. I thought my parents were too strict, and I rebelled, slipping and doing things I knew were wrong and spent much time praying for forgiveness. During a revival when I was about 16 we had an evangelist that preached really hard about hell and damnation. I doubted my salvation and went down front do it again and was even re-baptized just to be sure!
I finished college and got my first job in Athens, and was on my own away from my family. I soon married and had my first child and was overwhelmed by the realization that I had the responsibility to care for this child, not just physically but spiritually and guide her to come to know Jesus as her Savior! Once again I began to doubt my salvation and question if I was saved when I was 16 or was it when I was 8 and asked Jesus to come into my heart. After counseling with a trusted older Christian and lots of prayer, I felt God taking me back to the time I know I said, “Lord Jesus come into my heart.” He gave me peace about that doubt and now “I know whom I have believed.”

As my life has continued, I desire to be more Christ-like, to worship and to serve Him and to share my faith. Over the past 50+ years, there have been other struggles, the death of a child, disappointments from loved ones, failure to give my all to Christ all of the time. God forgives me when I repent, He gives me Joy when I focus on Him, and gives me Hope because keeps His promises.
My parents are gone now and my family has grown to over 70 people counting children, grand and great-grandchildren, in-laws, nieces and nephews. I love them all! I am now the oldest in my family. My greatest desire is for all of them to come to know Jesus and strive to be Christ-like. My prayer is for others to see Jesus in me and for me to share what He has done for me.

Any additional comments? Being involved in a Christ-centered church has always been a priority in my life. It gives me a place to worship with other believers. I get to be part of something bigger than myself to tell others about Jesus. I have opportunities to show the love of Christ through ministry in our community and beyond, even to the ends of the earth! It is a place where I can learn more about the scriptures and how to share what I’ve learned with others. It gives me a place to grow as a Christian. It gives me discipline and direction in my Christian life. It gives me fellowship and friends I know I can trust and friends who will be there for me when I need them. It gives me prayer warriors to intercede for me and others I care about. Why would anyone not want to be part of body of Christ who gives you all these things.